Cyber thieves are constantly devising new ways to system securities and exploit any vulnerability to steal valuable data that could have dire consequences for their business victims.
With more advanced technologies and persistent manipulation techniques consistently adopted by online criminals, businesses must continuously be on their guard to secure their data. Here are some common cyber security threats your business could be facing and you should keep an eye on.
Malware and Ransomware
Perhaps the cyber threat that has mostly been in the news of late is ransomware and malware, which exposed hundreds of businesses to serious risks. But what’s really the difference between these two? Malware is designed to gain access to your computer system by tricking you into installing a cyber bug deceitfully presented as software. Malware compromises information network and can be used to steal vital data and send spam emails to other targets.
Ransomware, on the other hand, is a kind of malware that locks you out of your computer, so you’re not able to use it for your normal activities until you pay a specific ransom – typically running into hundred of Euros and usually in the form of Bitcoin – to the hacker. The most recent publicized reported ransomware was WannaCry and Petya which victimized businesses in over 150 countries. Read up on the main security risks to ensure you can spot even the slightest hint your system may have been corrupted by malware or ransomware.
Virus and spyware
A virus is a malicious software designed to disrupt the normal functioning of computer systems and spread to others. Once it infects a PC, it can corrupt and/or delete files, and spread to other computer systems in the network via email. It is able to wipe off all data on the hard disk of PCs.
Spyware is also a form of virus that secretly steals sensitive and valuable information stored on your network without your knowledge and can be stealthily downloaded on your PC along with another supposedly safe software you’ve installed.
Social engineering preys on the user’s vulnerability rather than the PC’s or technology. The user is tricked into giving away his or her password or other confidential information. Typically, the hacker sends a compelling email requesting for financial assistance or donation, while disguising as the user’s boss, relative or a close friend.
It is an art of manipulating human psychology aimed at winning the user’s compassion, gaining their trust or piquing their curiosity to prod them to open a malicious email, download a link or take an action that would compromise their confidentiality.
With email marketing now a major feature of doing business, hackers have found phishing scams an attractive medium to try to gain users’ private information. In a phishing scam, the hacker sends you an email that mimics a popular brand you probably have a business with such as your bank. You will likely be asked to click a malicious link or provide some personal information to help you solve a problem.
Once you fall for the bait and click the link or give out the confidential details, the hacker will be able to steal your password and access your personal files. Be cautious about clicking links in an email. If you have any doubts – even if the email appears to be from a trusted source – log onto the brand site and access the information their instead.